This is my Journey back home:
Up to this point, my life has followed a steady, linear trajectory. But today… I took my own advise that time is your most important asset and I am happy to announce that I am speaking to you from Honolulu, Hawaii the new home base of Simple Passive Cashflow!
As a teenager growing up on a small island in the middle of the Pacific, I was programmed to go to college on the mainland because the cost of living in Hawaii was too high and jobs compensation was pretty poor. With the cost of living in Hawaii being 10% more than Seattle or San Francisco and 20% less pay for equivalent jobs, living a comfortable life is no easy feat. I resolved to never return unless I was extremely well off financially – although I am not where I want to be – I have the knowledge and network to get me where I need in the next few years.
Looking back on my path as a wide-eyed college student living away from my family for the first time in Seattle. And then started my Engineering career working for blood money for my first employer. I am a little dumbfounded how all that work through the traditional educational system only prepared me for a life as a worker-bee to save more and hopefully have enough after I gave away all that time during a 40 year career. I do look back with gratitude since it gave me the means to save up for down payments and truly savour freedom when I achieve it.
I wanted to inspire others to “Burn The Boats”… to do what you want, where you want, and with whom you want – whether its buying that first rental, quitting a crappy job, getting away from a bad boss, starting a family, or just telling your mother in law to shut up.
Here are the 10 main reasons for my return to Hawaii and I hope you can find similarities to your journey:
1) It’s a seller’s market.
2) I don’t see many deals out in the market worthy of investing in. In fact, I can’t find many that will make money. I don’t believe in rent trends continuing upward. In my mind, that’s called speculation.
3) Hawaii is a great place to hide out and chill. Knowing when to “hold’em” and when to “fold’em” is half the battle.
4) Environment matters. I used to live in a really affluent area in Kirkland and my Mercedes is seriously the crappiest car on the block. Homes are filled with babysitters watching kids as their parents play Bejewelled on their I-Phones. I just don’t feel like I fit in. Seattle also gets dark at 3:30 PM in the Seattle winter and I dislike being cold all of the time. Talk about Kurt Cobain! Shoot yourself in the head!
5) Embrace minimalism. My homeboy FI Fighter took the path of Extreme Financial Independence to race to a point where his income exceeded his expenses. At that point the plan is to escape the rat race which not only includes your job but the environment that contributes to lifestyle creep. On paper, Hawaii is one of the if not most expensive States to live in as evident with the median home costs of $800,000 and 8 dollar gallon of milk. The truth is in order to survive, Hawaii’s locals have to live frugally, in multiple generational households, and the housing stock/amenities is much lower quality (B tenant lives in a C building by US Mainland standards)… it’s the price of paradise. From time to time we need to get back to basics and keep it simple.
6) A unique opportunity. One of my main goals is to create an investor network in Hawaii. People in Hawaii are very fiscally conservative and there is a lot of generational wealth passed on to younger generations. This creates a complex problem for people who have money and “don’t know how to fish.” My hope is to leverage the talents of others to create a non-profit financial education group based on the philanthropy of those who I will liberate from the rat race and will in turn help mentor others in basic personal financial education such as keeping a budget. If you are interested please reach out to me. The best companies are built on the foundations of culture and this is something I know everyone that comes to this website strongly believes in.
7) Technology bridges oceans. Some will say that I need to be close to the action, but I feel technology allows me to be everywhere at once. I travel to Texas and Atlanta a lot and they are major airport hubs which offer direct flights to HNL. I am also a cheap ass (which I am working to change :p), so I take the red-eye to avoid paying for a hotel that day. My situation will actually improve since instead of a 4 hour flight from Seattle to Texas, I now have a full 7 hour shut-eye flight from HNL to DFW.
8) Serve the people of Hawaii. You might be asking why am I still working? Check out this previous talk I gave explaining why you should not quit your job. I’ll be honest although, I work a few hours a day and times on the weekend on building SPC and my multi-family syndications I don’t have enough work to keep my busy all the time. I recently interviewed for a job and I told them that I was looking to work for good people who treated me fairly and with respect. For the past few years I only worked for non-private entities because I thought that they are one of those busy days at work… my efforts benefit at least the people and not a corporate entity. And now it’s great that my work benefits the place I grew up. But don’t get me wrong here… I still don’t really enjoy the work I do and it is not Ikigai or the alignment for four items: 1) What you are good at, 2) What you Love, 3) What the world needs, 4) What you can be paid for.
9) Passion+Lifestyle=Happiness. Tom Corley (from Rich Habits) identifies 2 ways self-made millionaires rose from poverty or the middle-class. Either you live below your means and wisely invest your savings or you pursue something you are passionate about. I am achieving the best of both worlds. Yes, Hawaii is more expensive on paper, but it is easier to live a simple life and not get caught up in the perpetual pissing contest that many working professionals subconsciously partake in.
10) Retirement is a state of being. People wear Hawaiian Shirts on a vacation to feel relaxed. Why not make everyday like that? I am nowhere where I want to be but on my way. With a little Shave Ice too. I want my everyday life to feel like an indefinite vacation. #LuckyYouLiveHawaii
Live in the moment. Life is short… pull your head out off your butt before the years fly by. Don’t you see those Facebook memories posts and think where did the years go? The day is long and the years are short. Get up get out and get some. WUKAR! Lanikai Sunrise 😁 Check out the youTube Channel.
“Podcast #074 – My Journey Back Home to Hawaii”Continue reading